New Movie Highlights Impact of Toxic Chemicals on Environment
The Hollywood blockbuster Dark Waters is shedding new light on toxic chemicals that are contaminating the environment. Starring notable actors such as Mark Ruffalo, Anne Hathaway, and Tim Robbins, the movie is based on a true story that follows an environmental lawsuit filed against chemical company DuPont for dumping toxic chemicals into the environment of a West Virginia town.
The toxic chemicals that Dupont dumped are PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl compounds, and come in many different variations including PFOS and GenX. Commonly referred to as “forever chemicals,” these PFAS compounds do not breakdown and instead can accumulate in the environment and the human body. These compounds are man-made chemicals that were manufactured by industrial scientists to make non-stick cookware, water-repellent coatings, and firefighting foam.
Presence of PFAS in North Carolina
While the chemicals have been observed in water systems throughout the country, Brunswick County, North Carolina was found to have the highest levels of PFAS contamination. The county tested to have 86 parts per trillion, which is above the upper limit of 70 parts that was set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
DuPont and its spinoff company, Chemours, operated its Fayetteville Works plant in Bladen County, North Carolina where it manufactured PFAS and discharged them directly into the Cape Fear River. Although the chemicals were known to be toxic and carcinogenic, this dumping continued for decades until 2018, when state regulators mandated they stop.
This mandate came soon after the 2017 legal decision of the environmental lawsuit against DuPont in West Virginia that is showcased in Dark Waters. The documents in the case proved that DuPont knew that the chemicals were linked to health problems but continued to dump its waste in landfills regardless. The lawsuit ended in a settlement of $670 million for 3,500 personal injuries related to PFAS.
Consequences of PFAS
These PFAS have been found to have severe consequences on the environment, livestock, and people, and has been linked to different types of cancer, thyroid disorders, birth defects, and organ damage.
Call a Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one has been impacted by PFAS and its impacts on the environment due to the negligence of others, reach out to a Whitley Law personal injury attorney today.